No Strings Attached, Natalie Portman

Directed by Ivan Reitman. Starring Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, Kevin Kline.

The same old story about how a boy and a girl can’t just be friends or in this case, just friends with benefits. Come on Hollywood, bring sexy back!

Yes Ashton Kutcher, favourite of all those little giggly girls is back and who’s this we have opposite him? Why if it isn’t little miss Oscar nominee (for Black Swan) Natalie Portman. What? No Jennifer Aniston. This looks like a premise right up her alley. Girl isn’t affectionate and wants boy to simply be there as her midnight fuck buddy. Absolutely no emotions please but the hapless sod can’t help himself. It’s Jennifer Aniston after all. No wait a minute, it’s not. It’s Natalie Portman. Petite, can barely break into a smile, above shoddy rom-coms like this one, Nat Portman. And of course Mr Demi Moore, but then one doesn’t expect much from him. At least a movie like Spread had a better plotline and more sex. This film just talks about it. All talk and no cock as my best friend says.

Of course from the very beginning you know Ashton’s gonna fall for Natalie. Men nowadays. Or should we call them women? Anyway, after telling him to go fuck someone else because he’s been spooning her the entire night (with clothes on, how romantic) she realises her ‘true’ feelings for him when she’s drunk. But she still doesn’t really-really want to be with him. She has issues with intimacy. Why? We have no idea.

The direction by former genius Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters, Dave, Up In The Air) is loose and lethargic. And the writing is so mind-numbingly clichéd you find yourself thumping your hand on your seat handle waiting for lines of dialogue to end. They try to shock you with some vulgar euphemisms like ‘tunnel buddy’ but you know it’s simply for effect.

I do have to say though that the five young girls at the screening and the one gay boy sitting next to them did find it all funny at points.

Also, mention must be made of the supporting cast who do a finer job of acting and emoting than the lead actors. Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges, Mindy Kaling, Greta Gerwig, Jake Johnson and Lake Bell all make the best of their small parts. Kevin Kline as Kutcher’s dad is good but it’s sad to see him reduced to playing a has-been TV icon dating his son’s ex-girlfriend.

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